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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Traveler
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/19/07

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: mdalton]
      #5609597 - 01/07/13 02:08 AM

I own a cheap 7-21 zoom ep, a Orion Explorer clone. Although its very handy, i don't think its a very good one. When i comparing the zoom with my Vixen NPL's, the Vixens giving me better views. The main reason is because the less darker views. The Zoom is about the same price as two NPL's. So there is not much a price advantge.
The only situation where i am using the zoom a lot is with my Lunt H-alpha scope.

A step up will be the Baader Clickstop Zoom. However, i used two examples of the Baader and noticed some physical issues. One example didn't zoom anymore (Mark I) and became a fixed ep and the second one don't click sometimes (Mark III).


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5609658 - 01/07/13 05:52 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I have one of the German made Seben 8-24 zooms. It is built to a very high standard, has good coatings and a very acceptable field of view. I keep it in my 127 SLT Grab & Go Mak, I have compared it to other zooms and it has been better than any others I have tried it next to side by side.
Classic German quality (remember that little German car they used to laugh at?) the Volkswagen.
It performs as well as most my fixed eyepieces and better than some when used with a barlow.
I have thought about buying a second before people realize
how good they are and they go up! They come with a nice Hard carrying container with a screw on cap. Can't read the invoice though LOL



Seben products are made in China and imported into Germany. They are not made in Germany. Sorry to disappoint.



I was just going by the fact everything about it was written in German, there was nothing Made In China written anywhere to lead me otherwise.
It is very smooth operating, doesn't go out of focus as bad as some, decent field, and good light thoroughput.
I am very satisfied, and would buy another if something happened to this one without hesitatiion.


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andydj5xp
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/27/04

Loc: 52.269 N/10.571 E
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: orion61]
      #5609670 - 01/07/13 06:25 AM

Quote:

I was just going by the fact everything about it was written in German, there was nothing Made In China written anywhere to lead me otherwise.




Seben is an online-vendor located in Berlin/Germany. His website is supplied in German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian. See here

BTW, on the German astro forum Astronomie.de this zoom gets very positive comments.

Andreas


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THEPLOUGH
ELEVEN Grandchildren; FIVE Ducklings
*****

Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Carlisle, Cumbria, ENGLAND
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #5609678 - 01/07/13 06:44 AM

I have the Celestron 8x24 and it works well in my scope... It comes in handy when going on Holiday, and I don't want to pack a load of EPs...

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: mdowns]
      #5609699 - 01/07/13 07:38 AM

Quote:

I have one of the Vixen lv 8-24mm zooms and in fact like it pretty much.To be sure I prefer the brandon at 8mm to the zoom but overall the quality of the image is very good,especially in the mid range.I bought mine used on amart for 125 I think and recently saw one here for 90 bucks.




I have a classic made in Japan Vixen LV 8mm-24mm Zoom. It does a good job in my PST but otherwise, I find it restrictive because of the narrow field of view at low magnifications.

There were several Japanese made 8-24 zooms that were basically the same, including the Vixen. The TeleVue Click stop was one and I believe Celestron and Parks are some of the others who marketed this eyepiece.

If I am not mistaken, the Meade Series 4000 Zoom was/is also a sibbling of the Vixen LV... Johnny's link to the AgenaAstro Site for the Meade makes it quite interesting... I would like to know if that is indeed the same made in Japan zoom as the others.

Jon


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #5609777 - 01/07/13 09:01 AM

And remember these may be built in China but are built to Sebens Exacting Standards!
You should look through their Premium 80mm ED Nitrogen filled Spotting scope! It is a thing of beauty equal to my
Spotter that cost over twice as much!
I found it while researching for an inexpensive Zoom.
I mentioned it to a friend that bought one, I got a hands on before i bought it.
I have had 3 or 4 in the past and looked through a couple more.
The little online I found was all positive. My experience mirrors that. Not only smoothness but things like finish, the field stops are smooth, non glare, no rough edges little things like that that add up. I sold the Celestron zoom I had.(an older model).
Good Luck!!
I didn't want to post anything negative about Celestron but
once I saw some of Sebens products I fell in love with them..BTW the Zooms have already gone up 10.00 from when I got mine.


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John Huntley
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/16/06

Loc: South West England
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: orion61]
      #5610359 - 01/07/13 02:45 PM

I have bought one of the Seben zooms for an outreach event that I'm involved with later this month. It seems identical to the Skywatcher and Zhumell 8-24 zooms to look at, including the plastic storage pot.

Having tested it a couple of times since I took delivery of it, I was reasonably impressed for the $38 it cost me. I don't like the 24mm position much but from 20mm it improves and is a decent eyepiece from 18mm to 8mm.

My usual eyepieces are Naglers / Ethos / XW's.


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: John Huntley]
      #5610391 - 01/07/13 02:58 PM

I have to say that it has always surprised me that so many folks are down on zooms. I have looked through many poorly performing scopes that are loaded with uber eyepieces, where the views were not good. I think that inexpensive zooms work pretty well, and I would MUCH sooner look through a properly functioning scope with a $38 zoom than an Ethos in a dog. Sometimes I wonder if folks aren't looking AT the eyepiece instead of THROUGH it?!

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howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5610484 - 01/07/13 04:02 PM

Quote:

In that case, the perfect zoom for you would be the Zhummel 8-24mm zoom. Comes in it's own plastic bolt case. Nice smooth transition, no "click" stops. 66* FOV at 8mm (about 45* at 24mm). AND IT's CHEAP!!. To be truthful, it even worked well in my 10XTi, and that's a lot harder on eyepieces the the 6XT is, so this zoom will work well in the slower scopes. This was the first lens I bought (when I got the 10XTi), and I used it for the first few months. It will definitely do what you're asking of it.




+1 on all of that as it closely mirrors my experiences with that zoom.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: howard929]
      #5610556 - 01/07/13 04:44 PM

I guess these things must be like Peanut Butter
I toured a plant as a kid.
1 Place made about 5 different brands...same peanuts..


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: orion61]
      #5613725 - 01/09/13 01:22 PM

I would want to compare the zoom EP to good fixed eyepieces like a Televue 8mm to 25mm.
Are any zooms comparable to these, the old ones were very soft and less sharp, less contrast?


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: saemark30]
      #5613762 - 01/09/13 01:44 PM

So you want to compare a high end eyepiece to an economy zoom.......you just might be surprized. Don't have any high end plossels, but I can tell you that the Zhummel zoom throws up some really great views for what it does....No, its not a ZAO, but it is sharp to the edge with pinpoint stars, its only real drawback is the 45* FOV at 24mm. For public viewing or quick GrabnGo it works fine....

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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: saemark30]
      #5613890 - 01/09/13 03:05 PM

Quote:

I would want to compare the zoom EP to good fixed eyepieces like a Televue 8mm to 25mm.
Are any zooms comparable to these, the old ones were very soft and less sharp, less contrast?




From the (admittedly limited) exposure i've had to zoom EPs, i would've said "NO". But a short while ago i took a chance & sprung for a used Nikon MCII zoom. I was shocked at how excellent the views were! ... and this thru-out its zoom range.

Shortly after that i picked up my first Pentax XW, a 10mm. I'd tried the older 'XL' versions, but wasn't impressed. But this 10mm XW is quite excellent!

Trying the Nikon zoom (~7-21mm) alongside the Pentax, a 9mm ES-100, and a 13mm Ethos, and aside from the more constricted AFoV (which really ain't all that "constricted" in the shorter half of its FL range ), the Nikon gave up precious little!

The tough end of this is that they are not that commonly available "used" (not sure what their *new* availability might be ), and for substantially more than the OP's $100 budget. I think mine was ~$150 or so, used? But even at that pricepoint, i'd definitely say it's WORTH IT!

My advice- keep your eye out for a used one on sale. I'm betting, once you got it, you'd NEVER part with it! Would give impressive views in any & every scope you ever mated it with... including Barlowed!


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Doug Culbertson
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: saemark30]
      #5613984 - 01/09/13 04:07 PM

Quote:

I would want to compare the zoom EP to good fixed eyepieces like a Televue 8mm to 25mm.
Are any zooms comparable to these, the old ones were very soft and less sharp, less contrast?




I've only found one zoom that was really comparable to any excellent fixed focal length eyepieces, but it is priced well above the price point stated in the title of this thread.


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5614182 - 01/09/13 06:02 PM

I found only a few affordable Nikon zooms:
http://www.vistek.ca/store/Binoculars/229442/nikon-1648x2060x-zoom-eyepiece-f...
http://www.vistek.ca/store/Binoculars/265827/nikon-1648x2060x-zoom-eyepiece-f...
What is the mfg code for the MCII?
I found one that costs over $1000!


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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: saemark30]
      #5614274 - 01/09/13 06:48 PM

Quote:

What is the mfg code for the MCII?




Not sure. Mine is labeled around the lower barrel portion "OASIS NIKON FS 31.7AD (7162)"

... doesn't look like either of those you've linked.

I think it might be the one labeled as "#8" in this link.

Hope that helps.


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ibase
Vendor Affiliate
*****

Reged: 03/20/08

Loc: Manila, Philippines 121*E 14*N
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: saemark30]
      #5614308 - 01/09/13 07:07 PM

Quote:

I would want to compare the zoom EP to good fixed eyepieces like a Televue 8mm to 25mm.
Are any zooms comparable to these, the old ones were very soft and less sharp, less contrast?




Have the Televue 8,11,15,20,25,32mm(pair).



Although not in the price range of this thread, the Baader Hyperion 8-24mm zoom is optically at par with the TV plossls, only at 8mm setting, the zoom has a widefield AFoV of ~70-deg (actual per drift tests, published spec - 68-deg) with a big eye lens, while the TV8 is 50-deg and with tight eye relief.

As for old zooms, see "Zoom is Doom".

Best,


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: mdalton]
      #5615592 - 01/10/13 01:56 PM

Could the Celestron 8-24mm zoom be the same as the Sky-Watcher 8-24mm zoom eyepiece?
They are both owned by Synta.


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: saemark30]
      #5615980 - 01/10/13 06:12 PM

FWIW, the Celestron zoom has 4 elements, the Seben has 6, the Televue, Meade and Vixen has 7 elements.

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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Zoom EPs under $100? new [Re: saemark30]
      #5616017 - 01/10/13 06:28 PM

Quote:

FWIW, the Celestron zoom has 4 elements, the Seben has 6, the Televue, Meade and Vixen has 7 elements.



The older, now discontinued, 8-24 zoom from TeleVue was what you say.
The two, current, zooms--the 2-4mm and 3-6mm--are 5 elements each.


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